Lesley Stroll appointed Executive Director of Angel Investor Forum



Lesley Stroll – Executive Director of the Angel Investor Forum

Hartford, CT, March 1, 2016 – The Angel Investor Forum (AIF) announced the appointment of Lesley Stroll as AIF’s Executive Director, effective March 1st.

“Lesley will be a great asset to our angel group. She has experience in business development and marketing and is an active participant in Connecticut’s start up community. As a Vice Chair of the Wharton Alumni Angel Network, she has demonstrated a unique ability to identify and nurture early stage companies with the potential to scale” said Ed Goodwin, President of the Angel Investor Forum. “We will continue to support our region’s entrepreneurs and with Lesley’s leadership we look forward to working with companies of the highest potential.”

Lesley is a Senior Advisor and Founding member of the Refinery, an accelerator for women-led business. Her role as Director of Educational Programming at the Stamford Innovation Center, and a member of their advisory board, gave her hands-on experience to address the needs of “stage one” startups.

Her degree in Entrepreneurial Management, and a successful career in financial services from both the business development and marketing sectors, gives Lesley a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by today’s entrepreneurs.

“As the Executive Director of AIF, I am excited to build on our angel group’s success. AIF’s strength lies in its broad membership across many industry sectors. We not only make investments in startups, but also give portfolio companies introductions and mentorship that can boost their success. Working with AIF to invest in Connecticut and the region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is an exciting new challenge. I am really looking forward to it.”

About The Angel Investor Forum

The Angel Investor Forum (AIF) ( is an angel group located in Connecticut (CT) comprised of sophisticated, accredited investors who are former C-level executives, serial entrepreneurs and active venture capital and private equity investors.

The Angel Investor Forum provides accredited investors with the opportunity to pool their resources to source, screen and evaluate early stage companies for potential investment with a particular focus in Connecticut and the Northeast region. Members share their knowledge, expertise and collaborate with each other on due diligence but make their own individual investment decisions (under common valuation and terms). Angel Investor Forum is not a fund.

AIF membership is open to individuals who are considered “accredited investors” by the SEC and are interested in investing their own funds in start-up companies. AIF is actively investing in companies and currently is welcoming new members. For more information, contact Mary Anne Rooke at

Angel Investor Forum
222 Pitkin Street, Ste. 113
East Hartford, CT 06108

Click here for a PDF of the Press Release: Press Release – Lesley Stroll – new AIF Executive Director

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Q4 Money Tree Report – Highlights & Statistics

The Venture Capital Ecosystem deploys $58.8 Billion in 2015

According to the Q4 MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) based on data provided by Thomson Reuters VC investment totaled $58.8B in 2015. This is the second highest total in the last 20 years. Software continued to see the highest total investment of any industry bringing in nearly $1.5B through 95 deals. However, Financial Services saw the biggest increase in overall investment of any industry from 2014-2015 with an increase of 183% year over year.

Connecticut Statistics & Highlights

Connecticut saw its fair share of deals with $446M being invested in CT companies during 2015 and more than $175M invested in Q4 alone. However that number is down over $115M from 2014 when VC investment hit a 20 year high. The Biotech & Software industries continued to be top recipients of Venture Investment in 2016 bringing in $282M – more than half of CT’s total. CVG members Avitus Orthopeadics & Woven Orthopedic Technologies both made the top deals list raising $350k & $850K respectively.

You can read the full PwC/NVCA MoneyTree Report online at



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The Startup Ecosystem absorbed $16 Billion in the third Quarter as 2015 sets torrid pace for Venture Capital investments.

Venture capitalists invested $16.3 billion in 1,070 deals in the third quarter of 2015, according to the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters.

Report Highlights:

The $47 billion invested so far this year is already than more than the full year totals for 17 of the last 20 years.

The Software industry continues to be the most active industry for VC investment receiving $5.8 billion in funding this quarter.

Media & Entertainment companies received the third largest amount of venture capital for the quarter with $1.4 billion deployed across 90 deals, an 18 percent increase in dollars compared to the second quarter despite a 24 percent decline in number of deals.

In Connecticut:








Thirteen investments were made in Connecticut during the second quarter bringing $92,249,000 dollars to CT Startups. Both Total deals and the amount invested are down from the Previous Quarter, but overall the market has stayed robust.


Read the full MoneyTree Report here.

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Canaan Partners and Yale Entrepreneurial Institute partner to Launch the Canaan-Yale Venture Fellowship Program

CVG Sponsors Canaan Partners and Yale Entrepreneurship Institute (YEI) have announced they will be partnering to launch the Canaan-Yale Fellowship Program. YEI & Canaan Partners will be working together to select eight students, each academic year, to be split into two multidisciplinary teams. The teams will provide strategy and leadership to Canaan and Canaan startup companies in the healthcare sector.

This new partnership provides an excellent opportunity for a top academic institution to partner with one of the country’s finest Venture Capital firms. Erika Smith, Deputy Director of YEI, had this to say about the partnership:

 “To have the world class team at Canaan working closely with the top student talent from Yale – across business, medicine and biosciences – is an incredible opportunity for these students, who will learn first-hand about procuring venture capital dollars and the complex world of commercializing life science technology.”

You can find out more about the partnership by reading the official press release.

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Ironwood Capital

IronwoIronwoodLogo2012 (399x198)od Capital is a Connecticut-based private equity firm with over $500 million of institutional capital under management and over a quarter century of middle market experience. Through our non-control investments, Ironwood partners with owners, managers and equity sponsors of successful companies to enable them to reach the next level of success with the least amount of disruption. They support management in accelerating the growth of well-positioned companies by investing in internal growth initiatives, strategic acquisitions and infrastructure. Ironwood also invests in support of recapitalizations, refinancings, generational transitions, buyouts and other types of transactions. And throughout, we seek to simplify a process that is often unnecessarily wrought with complexity and contention.

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September 2015 | Social Media and Mobile Tech Recap

Sixty-five movers and shakers from the Crossroads Venture Group Community gathered to grow the Social Media and Mobile Tech industries in Connecticut. There were company showcases and presentations, an investor panel that gave live feedback to presenting companies, as well as an inspiring keynote speaker!21480381211_3a1057521c_z

Presenting Companies:

Three strong Rising Entrepreneurs presented at this months CVG event in front of a panel of experienced and knowledgeable investors. After each presentation, investors had the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.20850684793_8f0f5ec553_z

Burbio Inc.Julie Roche, Co-Founder & CEO
Burbio is a calendar-driven community platform that brings together school, sports and community group calendars, to give residents a personalized resource.

KenCast Inc.Richard Brand, CFO
KenCast was selected by movie industry consortium for secure delivery of first release films & live sports events.

Wellinks Inc.Ellen Su, Co-Founder & CCO
Wellinks is a wearable health technology company dedicated to improving clinical outcomes through education and creation of good habits around treatment.20849081894_79a0c6d519_z

Presenting Companies presented to a panel of experienced investors:

Matthew Bloom, Investment Associate, Connecticut Innovations
John Lim, CEO & Founder, Life in Mobile; Angel Investor
Lesley Stroll, Member, Angel Investor Forum; Member, Wharton Alumni Network
Peggy Wallace, Founding Member & Managing Director, Golden Seeds LLC; Managing Partner, Golden Seeds Fund

Immediately following the company presentations, John Lim, CEO and Founder of Life in Mobile, delivered a thought provoking, encouraging presentation that had entrepreneurs on the edge of their seats.21480376401_464069eac5_z

“Would you rather be rich, or be king?”

“Would you rather be rich, or be king,” started Lim. “If both, are they one in the same?” Entrepreneurs cocked their heads as Lim began his presentation with a quick, yet descriptive, depiction of his early years as an entrepreneur. Starting with his attempt to acquire paper routes as a 10-year-old boy to the art of striking deals as a 20-year-old in a NYC pub where the bar tender served him virgin cranberry vodkas. How he lost his wealth just as quickly as he found it.

The message was clear, chase money and don’t bother calling yourself an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur is not about chasing the dollar, its about taking risks, being passionate, working hard and above all, innovating through limitations.21460789892_5cd0969e4d_z

“If you don’t lose you’re not doing it right.”

Lim went on to explain that the mobile device is the only gadget, since the advent of the car, that has drastically shifted human behavior. When you work in the mobile industry it’s not about building magic tech, its about summoning an emotional response from the user.

“You’re not building the technology, you’re building an experience behind it.”

At the conclusion of his presentation Lim circled back to what it means to be a successful entrepreneur; highlighting some of his struggles and how they’ve shaped him into the successful entrepreneur he is today.

“You need to realize your limitations so you can innovate them,” he said. “It’s easy to be an OK entrepreneur; 34 million small businesses exist in this country and less than 7% of them generate over 1 million dollars each year. Distraction is the key to failure.”

Upcoming Events:
Tech Transfer – October 8capture
*Innovation Summit (Apply to be a Tech Company To Watch) – November 10

Present & Showcase at an upcoming event:

Interested in presenting as a Rising Entrepreneur at on of our future networking events? Click here to apply.

Click here to view more event photos
Click to view presentation









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UConn to hold Women’s Entrepreneurs Empowerment Forum

UConn will be holding their Women’s Entrepreneurs Empowerment Forum on Friday, September 18, 2015 from 8:30am to 2:30pm at their Stamford Campus. The conference will bring together women entrepreneurs and provides an opportunity to network with each other, showcase their ventures, and participate in a variety of educational workshops to help take their businesses to the next level.hero_ccwe2

Be sure to attend this fantastic event and support Women Entrepreneur’s in CT!

Register Here to secure your spot.


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Arizona Company licenses CT Inventor’s Alzheimer’s tech

Arizona based NeuroEM Therapeutics has taken a no-fee research and development license for an apparatus patented by Eric Knight of Farmington, CT based Remarkable Technologies. Eric Knight, a CVG member and supporter, began developing a device in 2013 designed to deliver radio waves to the brain to target plaque suspected to be a cause of Alzheimers. Alzheimers disease affects millions of people worldwide.

NeuroEm is excited to add the technology to their patent portfolio as they continue to advance their wave based therapeutics, a technology that will be entering clinical trials in the near future. Gary Arendash, a former University of South Florida researcher who founded NeuroEM in 2013, also has technology licensed from his time at the university and is currently collaborating with Arizona State University.

You can find out more about the licensing and NeuroEm Therapuetics at HartfordBusiness .com

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Q2 MoneyTree Report – Investing Exceeds $17 Billion

Venture Capital Investing Exceeds $17 Billion for the First Time Since Q4 of 2000, According to the MoneyTree Report

According to the MoneyTree Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) based on data provided by Thomson Reuters, venture capitalists invested $17.5 billion in 1,189 deals in the second quarter of 2015. This is the sixth consecutive quarter where more than $10 billion of venture capital dollars were invested in a single quarter.

“In addition to a significant uptick in total investing in Q2, the $7.3 billion invested in software companies exceeded the total VC dollars invested across all industries in 51 of the last 82 quarters,”aid Tom Ciccolella, US venture Capital Leader at PwC.

“We saw 26 megadeals in Q2 including yet another billion dollar investment.” – Tom Ciccolella

Report Highlights:

  • Software deals have increased 30 percent. The number of deals have increased 11%.
  • Media and Entertainment industries came in second for investment dollars. An increase of 127% in dollars and 34% in total number of deals
  • Biotechnology grew 32% in terms of dollars invested but remained consistent in number of deals.
  • In quarter two, VCs invested $5 billion into 290 internet-specific companies. This is a 54% increase in dollars and a 25% raise in number of deals for internet-specific deals compared to the first quarter.

In Connecticut:Capture

Fifteen investment deals were made in Connecticut during the second quarter, a 50% increase in number of deals when compared to the previous quarter. Through said fifteen deals, $117,609,900 dollars were invested.

Read the full MoneyTree Report here.


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July 2015 | EdTech and Software Recap

Seventy-five movers and shakers from the Crossroads Venture Group Community gathered to grow the Edtech and Software industries in Connecticut. There were company showcases and presentations, an investor panel that gave live feedback to presenting companies, as well as a keynote speaker and time forIMG_8207 both pre and post-networking.

Presenting Companies:

Three strong Rising Entrepreneurs presented at this months CVG event in front of a panel of experienced and knowledgeable investors. After each presentation, investors had the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

LevelUpVillage – Amy McCooe, Co-Founder & CEO
LevelUpVillage has a mission to ignite passion, intellectual curiosity and empathy in students by combining STEAM and Global education into ongoing equality interaction on real-life projects.

Simple Bio LLC – Rajiv Pande, President
Simple Bio is creating software to simplify the design and analysis of targeted genetic tests.

Discover Video – Rich Mavrogeanes, CEO
Discover Video is providing powerful and affordable video streaming and digital media solutions to organizations of all sizes.

Presenting Companies presented to a panel of experienced investors:

Kevin Bouley, President & CEO, Nerac, Inc.
Nat Brinn, Partner, Vital Venture Capital; President, CVG State Board of Directors
Jean Hammond, Co-Founder, LearnLaunch EdTech Accelerator; Co-Founder, Golden Seeds-Boston; Member, Hub Angels & Angel IMG_8392Launchpad Venture Group
Doug Roth, Director of Investments, Connecticut Innovations

Immediately following the entrepreneur presentations, keynote speaker Jean Hammond, who is the co-founder of LearnLaunch EdTech Accelerator, the co-founder of Golden Seeds Boston and member of Hub Angels & LearnLaunch Venture Group, spoke on the role of human capital for growing entrepreneurs. One of Jean’s highlights was about how it’s all about the “human touch.”hammond

“Early stage companies need human capital to assist with all aspects of growing a successful business… the search for these resources has never been more complex but there have never been more paths to try.”

We hope you will join us at our summer networking party in August!

Present & Showcase at an upcoming event:

Interested in presenting as a Rising Entrepreneur at on of our future networking events? Click here to apply.

Click here to view more event photos


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